In the game of business each business has a life, a season and a stage.
The more you know and understand your business the greater leverage you have right now to maximise returns and to anticipate and plan for what’s next. A business can be likened to human life in that when you start up a business you are like a child learning to stand & take those first steps.
As your business moves into adolescence, you start employing people, having to build systems, train people, generating leads and creating enough work to keep people busy and pay all the bills. In the teenage years you are now responsible for yourself and often others around you, you need to foster friendships to support each other, study for exams and get a drivers licence to name a few. Your business is growing and there are lots of changes happening and it is important to ask for help from someone ahead of you in the game to help you learn and stay on track.
Once you get through adolescence, you are now a mature business which ready to take on the world. You have good people in your team, systems are strong, you can go away on holiday and your business keeps running and the bow wave of work keeps flowing in. As an adult many of us work full time, get married, become parents, buy our first home (with a mortgage). You are now forced into greater responsibility. This stage is great and you need to keep innovating and growing to keep pace with the economy you operate in.
The last stage of business is the decline and I would argue that this stage is optional in business. As a person we can’t help but get old and slow down however in business the more you refine and reinvent yourself aligned to your purpose the increased longevity of your business. I agree that business units have a limited life spans as products such as type writers become absolute. If a business whose purpose was “to provide businesses with tools to communicate faster” for example the business would continue to utilise and create the latest technology to build their business infinitely. From every ending comes a new beginning.
Everything that you do, no matter the stage you are in, needs to be tied to the purpose your business exists and follow the vision to forge ahead and create new beginnings constantly. Each person within a business including the founder has a season if the business is infinite and the person is not. This is where the value of succession planning comes in, planning to replace yourself is an extremely difficult thing to do and comes with so many different emotions, reservations and concerns. Many people find their identity in their business which makes it even harder again to separate you and the business. If this is the case for you then know that you are valuable and that who you are is not the business, you are so much more. Just having the awareness of this can be revolutionary for what it can do for your business, it allows you to think differently and ask new questions to remove limiting thoughts and emotions.
Wherever you are on the journey, enjoy it, learn what you can, surround yourself with good people and use your business as a tool to achieve the things you want.